Global Review – 21st June

Upsets for Macron, Le Pen in regional elections

Mainstream left-wing and right-wing parties surged ahead in French regional elections Sunday, outpacing both Emmanuel Macron’s La République en Marche and Marine Le Pen’s National Rally. Le Parisien reports exit polls suggest Marine Le Pen’s far right party did not achieve the big gains it was hoping for in regional elections. The party was expected to come second nationally behind the centre-right Republican Party. President Emanuel Macron’s centrist party has also fared badly. The elections were marred by a record-low turnout of under 34%. The second round will take place next Sunday.

Swedish PM faces defeat in no-confidence vote

According to Reuters, Stefan Lofven is hours away from becoming the first Swedish Prime Minister to lose a no-confidence vote, after failing in a last-ditch effort to secure majority support in parliament for proposed rent reforms. The vote was called by the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, after the Left Party, which Lofven relies on to pass legislation, withdrew its support over his plan to liberalise Sweden’s rigid rent control system.

Pashinyan declares victory

RIA news agency reports the deputy Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, has declared himself the winner of the early legislative elections held yesterday. With 30% of results declared, Pashinyan’s party had 58.52% of the vote, compared to the 18.56% for former President Robert Kocharyan’s Armenia Alliance. However, Kocharyan has already claimed fraud and said his party would not acknowledge the formal result.

Libya reopens Mediterranean highway

In its latest bid to reunite the territories after years of civil war, Libya’s interim authorities on Sunday reopened the Mediterranean coastal highway linking the country’s long-divided eastern and western cities. Libya Herald notes its reopening was a long-held demand by the UN to enable the safe passage of civilians and goods. The announcement came three days ahead of an international conference on Libya that will be hosted by Germany and the United Nations in Berlin.

Hope for reviving Iran’s nuclear deal

The latest efforts to revive the international deal on Iran’s nuclear programme are reported to have made progress but differences remain. Press TV quotes Iranian negotiators saying an accord was “closer than ever”. Kurrier says the EU delegation also talked of advances at the meeting in Vienna. The US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said things appeared to be heading in the right direction. But the Jerusalem Post quotes Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett saying the election of Ebrahim Raisi to the presidency of Iran was “a wake-up call” for the whole world.

EURO2020: more round of 16 places on the line

A full menu of Matchday 3 drama awaits today with more ‘round of 16 places’ on the line as Ukraine face Austria and North Macedonia play the Netherlands in Group C at 6pm, before Finland take on Belgium and Russia visit Denmark to conclude Group B at 9pm.

Yesterday night, football fans thronged the streets of Rome, singing “Notte Magiche” as Italy beat Wales 1-0 and closed on top of Group A, with full nine points. La Gazzetta dello Sport has a full page picture of the joyous squad under the heading “Primissimi”. In the round of 16, at Wembley on June 26 at 9pm, Italy will meet either Ukraine or Austria, which are playing this evening. But Walesnonetheless also celebrated their progress as they went through as group runners-up, finishing ahead of Switzerland on goal difference, the latter having defeated Turkey 3-1.

Copa America: Peru beat Columbia 2-1 while Venezuela and Ecuador drew 2-2. Tonight, Urguay face Chile. 

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